Air crew brawl after stewardess 'refused personal favours'

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The Independent Online

Shocked passengers witnessed an alleged brawl between pilots and cabin crew as an Air India jet flew at 30,000ft, it was revealed today.

Punches were reportedly thrown in the incident on an Airbus A320 plane flying from the United Arab Emirates to Delhi.

It is understood the incident arose after a stewardess was allegedly abused and pushed in the cockpit after refusing to grant the pilots "personal favours".

Another crew member intervened and a fight allegedly ensued.

The incident happened on Sunday as the plane was flying over Pakistan having taken off from Sharjah where there had, allegedly, been arguments between crew members at the pre-flight briefing.

Air India has now grounded two pilots and two cabin crew members following the incident.

According to The Times, Air India said: "The incident of (a) scuffle between the two pilots and cabin crew members of (flight) IC-884 was reported yesterday morning.

"As there have been claims and counter-claims between the parties involved, the management has ordered an inquiry, which is still in progress. Further action will be decided based on the inquiry report."

Delhi police were quoted as saying that a stewardess had sustained bruises and hand injuries and that her complaint was that she had been" abused, manhandled and assaulted in an undignified way".

But it has also been reported that the two pilots have claimed that a male flight attendant started the incident with misconduct that threatened the safety of the 106 passengers and seven crew.

The flight landed safely.